How To Manage Dysfunctional Teams
Are you having a problem with how to address and manage a dysfunctional team? Believe it or not, you’re not alone! It’s a common problem for many businesses. Entreprenuer.com even reports that managing people is often the single hardest part of a leader’s job because “people are what make or break an organization.” Your team is often the most significant factor in success or failure—especially during times of growth. If you feel like the wheels are coming off your bus, how do you turn things around?
1.) Admit You Have a Problem
You know the feeling. That oppressive feeling in the office as everyone hunches over their desks, never really talking unless they have to. Worse yet, you see the disengagement and eye rolls at team meetings. To say the mood is unpleasant would be an understatement. You know that something is off with the team dynamic—and you know you should do something about it. But you keep putting it off and focus on your other tasks, hoping the situation will somehow correct itself.
But here’s the problem: it never will. As an organization leader, you must take on the challenge of addressing the issues within a dysfunctional team. If you don’t, the only change you’ll see is your quality talent moving on to new jobs to escape a miserable work environment. Facing these issues requires courage and strong leadership. Taking the time to figure out a plan to deal with the situation is the only way to turn your dysfunctional team into a transformational one.
2.) Take Stock
Once you’ve recognized the problem within your workplace and your team’s dynamics, it’s time to start reaching out to your employees. Remember: a dysfunctional team dynamic may have many different causes, and it affects each team member differently. Talk to your team to get a feel for why they are struggling. Hear what they need straight from their mouths—don’t rely on your assumptions. Their answers to your questions may surprise you!
3.) Work with Your Team
Once your team has been heard, it’s time for you as the leader to do what you do best: roll up your sleeves and achieve results. The real challenge of learning how to manage dysfunctional teams is getting to know the team members. As you consider how you can help your team, it can be helpful to identify your key players. These people are the ones who live out the Core Values of the organization and who embrace the transformational change needed to maximize results. Bringing these people together will align the group dynamic with your plan for the future.
4.) Make the Hard Decisions
Highlighting and promoting valued employees in the right positions can bring a lot of positive energy to the team dynamic. With that said, it’s important to remember that not everyone will be a key player. More often than not, when morale is low, there is at least one person who would thrive best in another position—or maybe even at another organization. We understand that moving someone off your team is nothing to take lightly. However, you need to consider the real cost of allowing someone with misaligned Core Values or performance issues to stay. Their negativity can drag any hard-won morale boost straight back down.
5.) Regroup and Move Forward
Once your team has started to rebuild and navigate the new, more open dynamic, the only thing left to do is regroup and move forward. Be vigilant that you and your team don’t fall back into old habits—and don’t hold onto grudges and disgruntled feelings. As your organization starts to become truly transformative, it’s essential to keep everyone accountable. Only then will you see results.
Manage Your Teams With Nexecute
Nexecute has a proven tool to help align team members to your organization’s Core Value. Our experts have a combined 57 years working with corporate leadership teams—we’ve seen it all! For more information, contact us for a free consultation. We want to hear about your current needs and challenges—as well as your hopes for success. That’s the first step in getting a customized toolkit of processes and workshops tailored to optimizing your company’s results.